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Science and Art Viewed by Richard Feynman


Free stock photo of flowers, yellow, petals, blur"I have a friend who’s an artist and he’s sometimes taken a view which I don't agree with very well. He’ll hold up a flower and say, “Look how beautiful it is,” and I’ll agree, I think. And he says—“you see, I as an artist can see how beautiful this is, but you as a scientist, oh, take this all apart and it becomes a dull thing.” And I think that he’s kind of nutty. 
First of all, the beauty that he sees is available to other people and to me, too, I believe, although I might not be quite as refined aesthetically as he is; but I can appreciate the beauty of a flower. At the same time I see much more about the flower than he sees. I can imagine the cells in there, the complicated actions inside which also have a beauty. I mean it’s not just beauty at this dimension of one centimeter, there is also beauty at a smaller dimension, the inner structure. Also the processes, the fact that the colors in the flower evolved in order to attract insects to pollinate it is interesting-it means that insects can see the color. It adds a question: Does this aesthetic sense also exist in the lower forms? Why is it aesthetic? All kinds o f interesting questions which shows that a science knowledge only adds to the excitement and mystery and the awe of a flower. It only adds; I don’t understand how it subtracts." - Richard Feynman, "The Pleasure of Finding Things Out"


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